The COlonial Period (1607-1763)
Beginning in the late 16th and early 17th Centuries, France and England attempted to build colonies to compete with Spanish hegemony in the Americas. The first English attempt was the failed colony at Roanoke (in North Carolina's Outer Banks) in 1585. The colony disappeared, however in 1587 without a trace. The English made a second attempt in 1607 with Jamestown. After a difficulties including laziness, infighting, Indian reprisals and cannibalism, the colony survived to become the first permanent English settlement in the New World.
In 1620, about a hundred Puritan separatists sailed from England on the Mayflower, intending to establish a religious colony. After being blown off course, the pilgrims (as they were called) founded the the Plymouth Colony in what is now Massachusetts. More Puritan dissenters arrived throughout the 17th Century, founding the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Eventually, thirteen English colonies were founded along the East Coast, stretching from Georgia to New Hampshire, forming the nucleus of the United States. The colonies grew and prospered, but increased friction with France made war inevitable.
Conflict with France
During the 18th Century, France and Britain were locked in a bitter struggle for control of the continent. Competing claims over the "Ohio Country" came to a head in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763). As a result of losing the war, France lost nearly all of its territory in North America, while Britain gained a massive empire, national debt, and restlessness in its American colonies that would lead to war a decade later in the American Revolution.
Lectures from the Colonial Period
The Four Founding Nations
Native Americans on the Eve of Colonization
Train Wreck on the James (Jamestown)
Thy City on the Hill (The Puritans)
Historical Essays and Documentaries
The Origins of Slavery, by Ira Berlin
Conflict and Commerce: The Rise and fall of New Netherland, by Simon Middleton
Native American Discoveries of Europe, by Daniel Richter
The Pueblo Revolt, by Edward Countryman
The League of the Iroquois, by Matthew Dennis
The Puritans and Dissent: The Cases of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, by Francis Bremer
The Origins and Legacy of Pennsylvania's Quakers, by Barry Levy
Life in the Southern Colonies by David Lee Russell
Pocahontas Revealed from PBS (Documentary)